The COVID-19 pandemic has decimated the world population and has put enormous pressure on healthcare systems as it tries to stem the tide. However, the most tragic impact has been on society’s most vulnerable individuals, the old and frail who reside in nursing homes. Even with family members in quarantine and practicing social distancing protocols (SOPs), the geriatric population is highly susceptible to the virus.
Susceptibility of Nursing Home Residences to COVID-19
Nursing home residents are usually senior adults who suffer from multiple impairments and other serious illnesses. As such, their immune system is already compromised, making them highly susceptible to various virus, including COVID-19.
Also, nursing home residents live together in close quarters, making quarantining a challenge – if not impossible. Once a resident falls sick, others must remain away or risk getting sick themselves. However, since the sick are old and frail, they need around-the-clock care from nursing home staff – who may or may not be equipped with protective gear.
Staff members also must care for other residents as well, allowing infection to take over an entire nursing home. Limiting the spread of COVID-19 can be impossible in a situation where SOP can prove fatal for residents. Because most nursing home staff do not receive sick leave, they may have to work – even if they experience symptoms, or risk losing pay.
All these reasons lead to an outbreak, which adds additional pressure to care staff, which can result in creating workforce shortages. Unfortunately, the healthcare industry already has a high turnover rate and attracting dedicated staff is a challenge due to low wages and a demanding work environment. If the remaining staff fall ill, they have to self-quarantine, which can take an emotional and physical toll on senior residents.
To fill the gap, nursing homes may hire poorly trained or unmotivated staff on a contract basis resulting in the newly hired staff to not provide the level of care residents need and deserve. Unmotivated staff can also cause injuries to the residents – either without meaning to or because they are not well-trained.
If you have a parent or other senior family member who is in a nursing home and you believe they have been neglected or abused, take action today. Call us to book an appointment with attorney Robert T. Edens for a free, honest and zero obligation consultation. Do not let your loved ones suffer in silence. We have years of experience representing elderly victims who have been abused by negligent nursing care facilities in Chicago, Waukegan, Woodstock, Libertyville and Antioch, IL.